Understanding Domestic Violence Charges in Arizona

In Arizona, domestic violence is never charged on its own. The State uses the domestic violence (DV) tag as an enhancement for criminal charges where the alleged victim has some familial relationship to the defendant. The domestic violence tag can be applied to a wide variety of offenses, but is commonly applied to:

  • Assault
  • Aggravated Assault
  • Criminal Damage
  • Disorderly Conduct
  • Stalking

If you are charged with a domestic violence offense, you should be aware of four things: First, your release conditions will likely instruct you not to return to the scene of the crime, and not to have any contact with the alleged victim. These release conditions will be enforced even if the scene is your home, and the victim your child or spouse. Second, if there were any firearms at the scene they may have been seized, and they can be held for up to six months. Third, if you have two or more prior domestic violence offenses you may be charged with a felony, even if the crime you are charged with is a misdemeanor. Fourth, federal law prohibits the purchase or possession of firearms by anyone convicted of a domestic violence offense if the crime involved the use or threat of force.

If you have been charged with any crime and the State is alleging that it is a domestic violence offense, you should call us today. Our attorneys have experience dealing with domestic violence charges and will be happy to provide a free consultation.

Possession of Marijuana/Medical Marijuana/Prop 200

Possession of any amount of marijuana is a felony in Arizona, though it can be designated a misdemeanor by a judge. The penalty for possession of marijuana can range from no conviction at all to several years in prison, depending on the number of prior felony convictions and drug strikes a person has on their record.

Arizona’s Prop 200, ARS § 13-901.01, makes possession of marijuana a probation mandatory offense for anyone not convicted of two or more drug crimes, provided they have no history of violence. This means that if a person has no prior drug convictions, and has never been involved in a violent crime, they will not be sentenced to prison if convicted.

Medical marijuana is legal in Arizona. If a person is in possession of a valid Arizona Medical Marijuana card, they will not be prosecuted for being in possession of small amounts of marijuana. Arizona does not recognize medical marijuana cards from other states. Possession of any amount of marijuana in Arizona without a valid medical marijuana card from Arizona is a crime. This can lead to some absurd results, like a New Mexico state citizen purchasing marijuana legally with a valid New Mexico medical marijuana card, travelling to Arizona with a small amount of marijuana, and being convicted of a felony for possession of marijuana in Arizona.

If you have been accused of possession of marijuana, or any drug, call us today. Our attorneys offer free consultations and can usually determine whether a person is eligible for probation under Prop 200.

DUI Charges: Reasonable Suspicion and Dismissal in Phoenix

Driving under the influence cases begin with the traffic stop. For police to initiate a traffic stop, they must have reasonable suspicion that the driver is engaged in criminal activity. Reasonable suspicion for a DUI stop can be based on a huge number of factors, but generally the stop must take place because of a moving violation or otherwise poor driving performance. One of the best ways to beat a DUI charge is by finding an issue with the traffic stop.

I worked on a case where the driver was stopped for failing to use a turn signal. Like many DUI traffic stops, this one happened late at night and traffic was very light. The officer who initiated the stop described no other moving violations or bad driving. After the stop and an investigation, our client was charged with driving under the influence and arrested.

We interviewed the officer and asked him whether he had seen any other indication that our client was impaired before he pulled him over. The officer confirmed that the only reason he had pulled our client over was because of a failure to signal. We then asked him whether there were any other cars on the road at the time of the stop. There were not.

Under Arizona law, a turn signal is only required when a driver’s turn or lane change would affect other traffic. Because there was no other traffic on the road, our client’s failure to signal was not a traffic violation. In a pretrial argument, we were able to convince the judge that the officer lacked reasonable suspicion to make a traffic stop, and that his mistake was not reasonable. As a result, the rest of the investigation was suppressed, and the State had no choice but to dismiss the charges against our client.

We examine all of our DUI cases for these kinds of issues and use them to get the best possible results for our clients. If you have been charged with a DUI, call us! We offer free consultations and are available to discuss your case whenever it is convenient for you.

Written By Attorney Anthony Strong

Finding the right criminal defense lawyer to represent you.

You’ve been charged with a crime.  It may be something relatively minor, such as simple assault.  Or something much more serious, such as fraud, robbery, manslaughter or another crime that has the potential to be life changing.

You’re going to be in for the fight of your life, trying to do everything you can to protect your freedom.  But you can’t do it alone.  You know you’ll need the best possible criminal defense lawyer for your situation that you can afford.

So what do you do to find that person or that firm?

First, you got to determine what your legal needs will be.  A minor charge may only require a consultation from an attorney about how to best proceed.  But make no mistake, if you are facing a serious charge, you will want the full services and attention of top flight legal representation.

Then you’ve got to decide what type of defense attorney you’ll need.  It may seem obvious, but if you’re charged with a federal crime, then you’ll want an experienced federal defense attorney.  A state level charge means you will probably want to seek out someone with relevant experience in that type of court system.  This is important because when you’re prosecuted at the federal level, you’ll be prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s office, which has a lot more time and resources to put into your case.  It also pays to try and find a specialized attorney who has experience with exactly the type of charges you are facing.

You’ll need to figure out what your costs are going to be, which you can accomplish after an initial consultation with one or more attorneys who may represent you.  If you can’t afford the costs associated with a law firm, you may need to talk to a public defender, who are assigned by the courts to represent people with limited resources.

Finally, while there are many highly skilled attorneys out there, you need to make sure you find one with the qualities that are important to you as well.  Do you want someone who is compassionate?  A bull dog?  A strong negotiator?  What kind of reputation do they have?  What’s going to make you feel like you can trust this person to represent you the way you want to be represented as you face the tests you will encounter going forward?

Cates & Garvey Law Group proudly serves clients in Phoenix, Tempe, Glendale, Scottsdale, Mesa and surrounding Arizona communities.

Bank Fraud Crimes Can Take Many Forms

As thieves become more sophisticated than ever when it comes to cheating individuals and banking institutions out of money, law enforcement has applied more and more resources and activated complex operations to catch would-be thieves.  This aggressive stance also applies to the court system, where it is not uncommon to see lengthy prison sentences be handed down upon conviction.

Although more and more criminals are attempting to circumvent the system, just because you are charged with a banks fraud charge, does not mean that you are automatically guilty.  However, banks fraud cases can be extremely complicated and require a lot of financial forensic work, so if you are facing any kind of fraud charge, it is important to seek help from an experienced banks fraud attorney.

Banks fraud can take on many forms, including:

  • Embezzlement
  • Stolen checks
  • Counterfeiting
  • Credit card fraud
  • Wire fraud
  • Mortgage fraud
  • ATM thefts
  • Accounting irregularities
  • Forgery

Because the nation’s banking system is highly complex and interconnected, there are many other types of fraud that are attempted on a regular basis as well.  For example, a person may not only attempt to acquire money from a bank illegally, in some instances, they may also pose as a bank in an attempt to prey on unsuspecting customers.

It’s important to note that banks fraud can be considered a state level crime or a federal crime, depending on the circumstances surrounding the accusations.  However, because banks are protected by federal statutes, most times a bank fraud charge will be considered a federal criminal offense.  That means penalties can be particularly harsh with less wiggle room to plea down a charge in an effort to gain a reduced sentence.  However, a defendant may be able to craft a defense strategy that involves helping the bank recover as much of their assets as possible, leaving open the possibility of an agreement that benefits both parties.

Cates & Garvey Law Group proudly serves clients in Phoenix, Tempe, Glendale, Scottsdale, Mesa and surrounding Arizona communities.

A.R.S. §4-244 (34) Underage Drinking and Driving in AZ

According to the law known as A.R.S. §4-244 (34) Underage Drinking and Driving in AZ , it is illegal for anyone who is under the age of 21 to drive or be in physical control of a vehicle while there is any type of liquor in their body.

It doesn’t matter if the person is impaired by the alcohol, or not. This means, you could be completely sober and capable of driving, but still receive a violation if you have alcohol on your breath and are under the age of 21.

Penalties for Underage Drinking and Driving

In the state of Arizona, an underage DUI is also referred to as a Baby DUI. While the charges alone don’t require time in jail, this is typically on the case for first time offenders.

However, an individual facing these charges may still be sentenced by a judge for up to six months in jail. Other charges related to this offense include fines of up to $2,500, as well as an 84 percent surcharge. It’s also mandatory that the individuals license be suspended for a period of two years.

Legal Defenses for Underage Drinking and Driving Charges

If you are facing these charges, the best thing you can do is contact an attorney for help. They will likely go over some of the defenses for this situation, which include:

  • No reasonable suspicion for you to be stopped.
  • No actual physical control of the vehicle.
  • No probable cause for the arrest that was made.
  • The denial of a right to counsel.
  • An inaccuracy of the blood or breath testing device.
  • A violation of the person’s Miranda rights.
  • Incorrect or inaccurate police reports.

An attorney will be able to evaluate your case to determine if any of the above situations apply. In some cases, there are situations where more than one of the aforementioned defenses can be used. This is why it is so important to hire an attorney for assistance.

The Importance of Hiring an Attorney

If you are facing underage DUI charges, then the best thing you can do is hire a DUI defense attorney who understands all the possible defenses for your situation. Someone who is under the age of 21 has their entire life ahead. As a result, the last thing they need is to have a DUI conviction on their record, which can impact their reputation negatively and have adverse consequences for many years to come.

Finding the right attorney matters. Make sure to consider the options in the local area and their knowledge of Arizona laws. A quality attorney will be willing to work diligently to help you reduce the penalties and potential consequences that you face.

Non Resident Charged With A Crime In Arizona

If you or anyone you know of have faced criminal charges, a Phoenix Criminal Lawyer can guide you through the process and help you reach the best resolution possible. An Arizona criminal lawyer is familiar with the state’s laws and procedures and is able to help non-Arizona residents understand everything. A good law firm can answer questions and be in contact with you throughout the process while aggressively protecting your interests. They also offer an initial consultation which can be helpful for non-residents of Arizona.

This may apply if you were arrested while in Scottsdale or Phoenix, AZ while traveling for entertainment such as bachelor/bachelorette parties, Spring Training baseball, the Phoenix Open Golf Tournament, business conferences and tradeshows, et. You will want to consider your better options of consulting with an experienced law firm that deals with these types of clients and cases.

If you are being charged with a crime, you may have to deal with additional logistics. For preventiion, traveling groups are better with a few helpful tips with relevant information for planning and communication purposes. Simple communication is one of the ways to mitigate any issues or risks associated with non-resident traveling. Whether you are vacationing on your own or traveling with a group of other people, you never want to be forced into any criminal charges or deal with any criminal justice paperwork.

You want protections for your assets, including a disallowed forced spending on unnecessary expenses. You want freedom quickly from the stressful situation. You also want to protect your name and reputation with a gentler way to get through everything if you were with others that were also involved. Even the language you use is important and your ability to find a way out of the stressful situation would become a priority. The biggest improvement might be the informational resources and helpful writing content that gets you to a solution. Being a non-resident and having to deal with criminal charges is something almost unknown for a majority of the population.

Your experience with Greater Phoenix and Arizona tourism should be only positive. This includes any vacationing and traveling for large enjoyable events and fan celebrations. Those planning these events with smart choices for safety and comfortableness for the residents and guests are appreciated. Good planning is smart with so many logistics involved. Opportunities for excellent entertainment should have good planning with leadership and experience.
Event planners and those organizing traveling tours or vacations are often considering the social events and parties that might be involved. Safety and a clean record are probably important to anyone carrying a state identification card while visiting the state of Arizona.

As an example, The Phoenix Open Golf Tournament, attracts international elite athletes with all of their fanbase and support crews. It also appeals to business leaders involved with planning and large event scheduling for Arizona’s largest city. The Greater Phoenix area benefits from all of the vacationers, tourists, and support crews arriving with the incredibly accomplished and successful athletes. These types of champion athletes deserve only positive news and the hope for planning teams is to keep the event running smoothly while managing all of Arizona’s tourism. All of this has to work nicely with the existing infrastructures which include restaurants, bars, lounges, event party locations, and private parties.
There are additional planning steps often for out-of-state travelers attending any large events. Additional recreation and social outings, such as venues or bars in Scottsdale, should often be considered for safety and smart planning. Larger groups that are traveling together may often decide on certain social events to join as one of the scheduled party plans. The traveling group must also know that the non-residents should be told about certain types of client cases some law firms deal with when people have been arrested while traveling or vacationing. The planning groups should always notify non-residents about smart decision-making with social event plans. Knowing the venues and acceptable behavior may be important, although assumed to be known.

Anyone who was dealing with an arrest in Scottsdale or Phoenix when traveling would be smart to consider a consultation with a phoenix criminal attorney. When it comes to protecting the rights of the accused, they would probably want to have their best representation and smart ways to protect their interests. You will also want to find the Arizona criminal lawyer best to aggressively protect your interests.

Arizona and the Greater Phoenix area celebrate often with large entertainment venues that have become quite common. These larger events include some world reknown nationally televised events and many that are enjoyable for tourists and those celebrating sporting competitions. Greater Phoenix hosted nearly 44 million visitors in 2017 and the leadership continues to enjoy effectively planned tourism events. The state of Arizona offers an incredible number of opportunities and the experience matters.

Legal Defense and Title IX: What You Should Know

Though it may not sound as serious as criminal allegations, facing Title IX violation charges is no laughing matter. Especially in today’s times, any accusation of discrimination or harassment can be not only tough to deal with, but also extremely challenging to overcome. In many cases, it can damage a person’s, organization’s or school’s reputation long into the future if not for life. If you or your organization have been accused of a Title IX offense, it is imperative that you seek out experienced legal counsel as soon as possible.

Our offices are ready to help you deal with Title IX violations, so give us a call at your nearest convenience. In the meantime, here’s what you need to know about Title IX complaints and the legal proceedings that surround them:

What is the Title IX Law?

At its core, Title IX is a civil rights law. Though it was passed back in 1972 as a portion of the Education Amendments Act, it has only been in more recent years that Title IX complaints have become more visible.

The law states: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

More specifically, the Title IX law prohibits any school or organization that receives Federal funding from discriminating against anyone based on their gender. It’s also very important to note that this law goes further, prohibiting those who are accused from retaliating or taking any kind of responsive action against someone who may have filed the complaint. In other words, should an employee accuse you of gender discrimination, you may not terminate their employment as a result or take any other kind of negative action against them.

Sexual assault accusations may also be included under Title IX, specifically when it concerns students. This means that administrators and school staff can be accused of assault, as can students.

How Does Defense Against Title IX Complaints Work?

While the Title IX law is overall a good thing that has done a lot in the way of reducing discrimination and promoting gender equality, there is still a long way to go in order to ensure those who are accused have the means to defend themselves. The unfortunate truth is that many people and organizations are falsely accused, and their reputations start to take a dive almost immediately. Even if the accusations are eventually proven to be unfounded (which itself can be tough), there is often long-lasting damage.

Now, Title IX cases vary greatly in severity. While they are settled in court in a lot of situations, they may also be settled “in house” in a school setting. In these cases, proceedings will (that is, should) start as soon as the school receives word of a complaint. In the case of lawsuits, the case may also be able to stay out of court if an agreement is reached.

However, it depends on the severity of the allegations. While opting for an out-of-court setting may be desirable in many cases, it is important to realize that the accused may not receive the due process found in the court setting.

Again, this is why it is so important to get experienced legal counsel on your side, even if your case is not (yet) set to go to court. Your attorney can review all the facts of the case and do what they can to get any criminal charges dropped.

Potential Case Outcomes

Because the details of each case will vary greatly, it is important to realize that potential outcomes are also numerous. In the event of criminal allegations, the main goal will be getting the criminal charges dropped or reduced, as well as avoiding a prison sentence. In other cases, the goal will be focused on saving the accused’s reputation and character by gathering as many facts as possible (including potential witnesses).

If you or a loved one is facing a Title IX complaint, don’t wait to seek out help. The sooner you get legal assistance, the more likely you are to get the best possible outcome.

Arizona’s harsh DUI penalties

It’s been a tough week at work and you stop off with friends at your local watering hole for a couple of drinks.

Or, you’re watching the big game and you need to restock your frig at half-time.

Maybe it’s Saturday night, you’re at a party, and you’re feeling invincible when you’re selected to make the next beer run.

Whatever the case may be, when you get behind the wheel after too many drinks, you not only put your life other people’s lives in danger, you run the risk of messing up your life in a pretty big way, even if you don’t get into any kind of an accident.

Arizona limits the legal blood alcohol content limit for drivers to .08. While the punishments vary widely from state to state if you’re popped for driving while over this limit, in Arizona, you’ll be facing mandatory jail time, a suspended license, and you’ll have an ignition interlock device installed on your car. You will need to hire a lawyer who specializes in DUI to keep a bad situation from getting even worse.

It should be noted that the .08 limit applies to drivers who are of legal age to drink and drive. For anyone under 21 years old, there is a zero tolerance law in place, meaning that if you are busted for having any blood alcohol content whatsoever and you are under age, you can be charged with DUI. The law was put in place because nearly one-third of all fatalities for people under 21 years old are due to motor vehicle accidents. Of these, about one-third are caused by drinking and driving.

In addition, for those drivers who have a blood alcohol content of .15 or above, they will face aggravated DUI charges resulting in enhanced penalties upon conviction.

Those penalties start with a minimum 90 day suspension of a driver’s license and can rise to up to 3 years based on subsequent DUI convictions. While vehicle confiscation will not take place, a person will be required to go through mandatory alcohol education, assessment and treatment.

Cates & Garvey Law Group proudly serves clients in Phoenix, Tempe, Glendale, Scottsdale, Mesa and surrounding Arizona communities

White collar crimes are complex and can take a long time to resolve

White collar crimes are those that are not violent committed by businesses and individuals who are motivated by financial gain. Typically, this will include crimes such as bribery, fraud, insider trading, embezzlement, forgery, money laundering, identity theft and other related infractions.

In most cases, these offenses are highly complex and can generate substantial evidence gathering and forensic investigation. This means that a charge and the subsequent case can drag on for months or even years before going to trial. Retaining an experienced white collar crimes lawyer is a necessity. That attorney will often need to work with related financial professionals on your behalf, because white collar cases are often laced with complex financial information and scores upon scores of documents and data.

Many white collar crimes fall under the jurisdiction of federal laws, so a person charged with this type of crime may be going up against the resources of a variety of federal agencies such as the FBI, the Department of Labor, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Internal Revenue Service, among many others. That means an attorney defending a white collar crimes defendant must have experience not only at the state level, but at the federal level as well.

It also makes sense to retain a lawyer even if you have not yet been charged with a white collar crime. Because white collar crimes are complex, you will need someone familiar with the mechanisms of how an investigation will play out. An attorney will be able to guide you and shield you from saying or doing things that could self incriminate you or lead to additional charges over and above what you may already be facing. Preserving your rights as early as possible can set the stage for a solid defense and one that may ultimately lead to the charges being dropped or resulting in an acquittal.

Cates & Garvey Law Group proudly serves clients in Phoenix, Tempe, Glendale, Scottsdale, Mesa and surrounding Arizona communities.